Items of Interest

In the most sweeping of all decisions upholding prohibition laws, the Supreme Court of the United States has just upheld as constitutional and valid the Webb-Kenyon law prohibiting shipments of liquor from "wet" to "dry" states. It also sustained West Virginia's recent amendment to her law prohibiting importation in interstate commerce of liquor for personal use. Chief Justice White announced the majority opinion, Justices Holmes and Vandevanter dissented. An official digest of the majority opinion, prepared by the court, says: "Considering the Webb-Kenyon act, the court holds that there is no foundation for the contention that the act only applies to shipments from one state into another for a use prohibited by the state to which the liquor is shipped. On the contrary it is decided that the Webb-Kenyon act, to use the words of the act, applies to shipments of liquor 'intended to be received, possessed, sold, or in any manner used' in violation of the laws of the state. As this conclusion causes every prohibition of he West Virginia law to be embraced and come under the right conferred by Congress by the Webb-Kenyon act, it is decided that the West Virginia law was not in conflict with the commerce clause of the Constitution and the power of Congress to regulate commerce if Congress had power to enact the Webb-Kenyon law."

A review accompanied by statistical tables of the water power available in Italy for the generation of electrical force has been issued by the Ministry of Agriculture. For the last thirty years data as to the hydraulic force available in Italy have been collected methodically. The average driving power has been estimated at 123,200 horse-power for the water courses along the Ligurian coast, 926,900 horsepower for the rivers flowing into the Tyrrhenian Sea, 45,000 horse-power for the Sicilian water courses, 195,500 horse-power for the rivers flowing into the Ionian Sea, 553,100 horse-power for those flowing into the Adriatic, and 320,000 horse-power for the southern tributaries of the Po, making a total of 2,163,700 horse-power. The tributaries flowing into the left bank of the Po have not yet been accurately studied, but the driving force obtainable from them is roughly estimated at 774,000 horse-power, and 2,052,000 horse-power is attributed to the remainder of the unstudied water-courses, bringing the grand total up to approximately 5,000,000 horse-power.

Tilling the Ground
February 3, 1917

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